UK pubs are facing a new challenge because of Covid-19, one that many have never needed to consider. How do you securely and compliantly store the identities of people entering and using your establishment?

With little available details and guidance on how to go about doing this, or setting up a database, I wanted to provide some insight and an option for such businesses.

Without going into too much detail around GRPR (partly because i'm not a lawyer and the ICO explains it much better than I can), businesses within any sector need to be paying close attention to how they are storing personal data.

At Sunderland Software City, we're continually striving to improve our compliance and we've found that a couple of free, digital tools can be particularly helpful when looking at data capture and management solutions.

Fundamentally, businesses need to consider how, what, where, why and when they collect data. Most of these questions can be answered simply. In this blog, I'm going to tackle the "how".

The first challenge in this instance is the actual physical challenge of collecting customer data. Shared touchscreens have hygiene issues, while paper-based records are a security hazard.

QR codes could be one solution at bars and entranceways, directing customers to an online form to complete their personal details on their own device, therefore minimising hygiene risks.

Database tools such as Airtable offer a number of different form fields, including automating the date that the record was created (making it easier to track how long ago the record was created), as well as email and telephone number fields, as well as keeping the data behind the form hidden to only those that need to see it - therefore minimising the risk of a breach.

For example, the QR code below can be scanned using the camera function on most smartphones, and should direct the user to an online form to complete their details. Managers can then access the data behind the form in Airtable, keeping records secure and allowing for tracing of customers by date.

Both of these solutions can be set up for free. I've created a basic template in Airtable here that anyone can use. QR codes can be set up for free using many different websites, I used qr-code-generator.com in this instance. I hope this helps and wish you a safe reopening in the coming weeks! 

If you're a Sunderland based business, Sunderland Software City, in partnership with the Sunderland BID team and Sunderland City Council are running a series of free digital workshops, beginning on the 14th July. Details can be found on Eventbrite.